Reviewed By: Doctorhey
Review Date: 1/4/19 9:28 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
For me, this story underdelivers from my expectations which may be why I dislike it more than most.
What I was expecting to see from Transit was a brilliant introduction and expansion of Bernice's character, some more development between her and the Doctor, and an excellent story from Aaronovitch. Unfortunately we only sorta got one of those.
This story starts out in the future where the T-Mat System has developed a lot and the Transit system has taken its place. With the cyberpunk world, Aaronovitch wants to make it as fleshed out and as large as the entire Solar System, which he achieves as the future seems so alien to us, BUT this comes at a high price which I'll get back to later.
Where two of my expectations fall flat is with Bernice. We have a brief scene in the TARDIS with her and the Doctor, and if I'm, to be honest, I can't even remember what happens to her then to end her up in the Transit system. She just goes away from the Doctor to some other people. (SPOILERS FOR TRANSIT AHEAD) It turns out for the entirety of the main story, Bernice had been taken over by an evil entity called Fred. This means that nothing happens for her which isn't what I expected. I wanted to see her reaction to a time where she had not been and to show off her archaeology skills. (SPOILERS END)
This was not Aaronovitch's fault as he thought he was writing the new companion who has a bizarre connection to another character from Doctor Who history which isn't entirely necessary. She is the best part of this story as she is an entertaining character who bonds well with the Doctor.
Now onto my final point which is the story, which is alright. As like most times previously it is an all mighty powerful alien whom we cannot comprehend. And this is all set in a very alien Earth to the one we know today, where lots of new slang and words have developed. So much so that Aaronovitch needed to put a glossary in the back for reference. Even then, it doesn't include all the words so in some chapters you are left scratching your head as the out of place companion (Bernice) isn't there to ask questions about the environment so we are left sorta just to figure bits out for ourselves. This confusion blurs the plot for the reader and makes it a lot less enjoyable.
Overall after a re-read or two, I'm sure this book is excellent especially after you read other Bernice books, but the main problem is there is so many more VNA's that why don't you read more of those. Aaronovitch is definitely a great writer, but his ideas got too foggy in this one compared to Remembrance of the Daleks and Battlefield
And also can't forget to mention the controversial swearing and "semen taste" scene. Swearing is definitely blown out of proportion but the "semen taste" scene is definitely odd and out of place. Neither ruin the whole book independently, but both add to it.